My name is Kaine Harington, and I am the sole instrumentalist of the post-rock band American French Fries based in Dunedin, New Zealand. My latest album Bigger Things To Worry About wears its influences on its sleeves. Quite literally, the major influencing factors behind the album and its long-winded production is displayed clearly on the record sleeve. The image is of myself and my daughter (3 weeks old at the time) cuddled together and falling asleep. The longer I sit with the album as a finished product, the more I realize her influence is far greater than just a cutesy cover image. Every single track was shaped by the huge impact she has made on my life.
Hello friends. We are from the prairies of southern Alberta where it is sparse and dry, kind of like us. We don’t know what we’re doing or what we want, but we think we will continue. Join us as we try not to suck, but also don’t worry too much about being great. We’re just trying to be ok.
My second album is somewhat of a time capsule. These are the songs I wrote between realizing I needed to get better and doing something about it.
My alcoholism and dependence on other addictive behaviors (weed, sex, etc.) had progressed to a point where they had begun destroying every semblance of a good life I’d managed to build despite them. To preserve any chance I had at living well, I needed to change the way I spent each and every moment of my time. In order to honestly document these in musical form, I stripped away every instrument other than my voice, guitar, laptop, and tape recorder.
If there is anything for you in these songs, you will most likely find it outside of what I have to say about them. All I really have to say is thank you so, so much for listening. So much.
That said, in case it might inform your listening, here’s what I have to say:
“I took them to grandma’s; you’ve been playing way too much.”
This is how I woke up one day in grade 11 because I wasn’t doing much of anything other than making up random melodies and recording them on a tape player. I loved the fact that I was in control of making these things up and that they were not being graded or picked apart by a teacher or whatever…
I think, at heart, I was always a musician. I would always have a tune in my head and would spend my free time messing with an instrument or audio software. My heroes where rock stars. However, as I grew older, I felt pressure on myself – from both myself and from others – to fit into a certain expectation.
I wanted to live up to those expectations, so music became secondary. I pursued a degree in engineering to live up to those expectations, but I never felt like I fit in. I continued my musical development after classes as an outlet, but it wasn’t enough. Upon graduating, I realized that there was a difference between who I was trying to be and who I actually was, so I began a musical journey of finding myself.
I’m a musician. I used to just make and teach music, but lately I have been consumed by climate activism because I love people and nature. I can’t continue living without doing something to prevent it all from disappearing.
E. E. Cummings wrote:
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. That makes it very hard to plan the day.”
This describes pretty much every day of my life now.